By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
With support from Patrick Akoto
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @Akyereko
From coach-player bust-ups to fall of administrations and shocking player transfer, GHANAsoccernet.com takes a look back at 2013 and recaps the biggest football stories that dominated the headlines in the last 12 months.
JANUARY – Andre Ayew fails to show up in Ghana camp forcing Kwesi Appiah to axe OM star
The year opened with controversy in the Black Stars camp as winger Andre Ayew got involved in an exchange with Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah – a revelation which later became public knowledge.
Andre was obviously unhappy with his junior brother’s (Jordan Ayew) exclusion from the 2013 Ghana AFCON squad and decided not to travel to the United Arab Emirates to join his international team-mates.
He was subsequently axed from the Ghana squad by Kwesi Appiah and he later embarked on international exile.
FEBRUARY – 2013 AFCON shipwreck as Burkina Faso beat Ghana
Ghana returned from South Africa with another disappointment after just 11 months at Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Despite a promising start at the tournament, the Black Stars crashed to a semi-final defeat to border-foes Burkina Faso.
In an even more disappointing month, Mali did a repeat by beating Ghana at the bronze medal game as the team headed to Ghana empty-handed.
MARCH – Gyan controversially hands armband to Muntari in Sudan clash
After Sulley Muntari returned to the Black Stars, captain Asamoah Gyan handed his armband to the AC Milan star and this sparkled a state of confusion and criticism in the country.
Ghana’s 4-0 drubbling soon lost its flavour and Gyan’s gesture towards his team-mate hogged the headlines as he took bashing from the media.
Muntari later showed up in a Black Stars camping base with four different armbands – wearing all four of them during a training session – an act that created some form of fear and panic among Ghana fans.
APRIL – Trainer pokes goalkeeper’s eye with knife in Ghanaian second-tier league
Universal Stars goalkeeper’s trainer Lamine Issaka mysteriously used a knife to jab the left eye of Brong Ahafo Stars goalkeeper Kwame Tor Noah during a Division One League game in Ghana on Wednesday.
The incident took place during the first half of a tension-packed game in Techiman when goalkeeper for Universal Stars, the home side, sustained an injury in an aerial challenge and had to be replaced.
MAY – Irate Kotoko fans ignore May 9 horror destroy Medeama team bus and attack players and supporters
On the eve of the regrettable May 9 celebration, Kotoko fans indulged in violence and hooliganism in their Ghana Premier League game against Medeama SC at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Fans attacked players and smashed the windscreen of the Medeama team bus and caused damage to the bus.
The Ghana Football Association handed down a three game home ban to Kotoko and forced them to repair the team bus.
Kotoko management and supporters leadership came under scrutiny for failing to educate their fans on riot and hooliganism after 126 fans died on May 9, 2001 during a Ghana Premier League game between Hearts and Kotoko.
JUNE – Sulley Muntari launches tirade at Ghana coach after a World Cup qualifier against Lesotho
Sulley Muntari’s discipline became an issue once more in June as the AC Milan star launched a scathing tirade on Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah during Ghana’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in Maseru.
The 28-year-old snubbed the technical bench and storm down the dressing room after Kwesi Appiah replaced him with Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu in the 73rd minute of the game.
Though the issue was kept out of the public, the details and severity of the offence later became public knowledge while Muntari was chastised by all and sundry.
Kwesi Appiah excluded him from his squad consistently before recalling him.
JULY – DR KK Sarpong quits Kotoko and engages GFA Prez in fierce exchange
After persist pressure from fans, DR KK Sarpong was forced out of Kotoko as the former Ghana Oil Refinery boss quit his role as Executive Board Chairman for the Porcupine Warriors.
His regular clash with the media and style attracted huge condemnation while lack of transparency also caused more problems for him.
Particularly, fans were not excited with his transfer policy and called for his head.
But after stepping down, that was not it. Dr Sarpong attacked Ghana FA Prez Kwesi Nyantakyi for revealing a transaction between Kotoko and Petro Atletico.
The GFA Boss replied in an unhealthy manner and the FA’s Ethics wing forced him to retract a comment passed about Dr Sarpong’s trusted lieutenant Kwame Amoah Baah Nuako.
AUGUST – Kevin-Prince Boateng’s shocking move from Milan to Schalke
In a transfer that shocked the world, Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng left AC Milan to Schalke 04 – a deal that was never anticipated.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp felt let down by Boateng and attacked him for snubbing his side for Schalke.
SEPTEMBER – Popular Hearts of Oak fan Kanawu is laid to rest
August ending brought unpalatable news as the most popular club supporter in the country – Kwaku Adusei known in public circles as Kanawu passed away after battling with illness.
Both Hearts of Oak and Kotoko fans stormed his funeral in September to mark the event.
Kanawu was known for his ability to draw fans into the stadium.
OCTOBER – Black Stars humiliate Egypt in 6-1 demolition in Kumasi
Perhaps the biggest football story of the 2013 – Ghana thrashed Egypt 6-1 in Kumasi. The Black Stars helped themselves to the win at the Baba Yara Stadium to surprise the football world.
BBC journalists and other foreign journalists had only a lopsided report to file for their various organisation – Ghana maul Egypt.
Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari, Abdul Majeed Waris and Christian Atsu all scored to add to a Wael Gomaa own-goal.
NOVEMBER – Ghana complete third straight World Cup qualification
The Black Stars followed up the massive win in October to seal their place in Brazil in style qualifying on a 7-3 aggregate to complete their third straight appearance at the mundial.
Egypt took a 2-0 lead before returnee Kevin-Prince Boateng snatch a late consolation for Ghana.
DECEMBER – Alhaji Grusah arrested for slapping flight attendant
King Faisal bankroller Alhaji Grusah took the space in all newspaper front pages, captured the radio airwaves and television in later part of December after slapping an Antrak Air flight attendant.
Grusah was hauled to the Airport Police Station and bullied by police officials and banned from boarding any Antrak flight for the rest of his life.
What was your biggest football news of 2013? Let us know the football story of 2013 that is still fresh on your mind.